Question: How old was Lucas Hoagland when he lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, before becoming a member of the Mormon Battalion in 1846?
Answer: Lucas Hoagland was born in Oakland County, Michigan, on January 27, 1827, the son of Abraham and Margaret Quick Hoagland. The family were of Dutch descent. His grandfather married a sister of Cornelius Vanderbilt and emigrated with them to New Jersey.
Lucas’ father, Abraham Hoagland, was born in New Jersey and in his young manhood, Abraham Hoagland moved to Michigan, where he was a prosperous blacksmith and farmer. While in Michigan, Abraham and his family were taught the Gospel by the Mormon missionaries. The family believed their teachings and became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1842, Abraham moved his family to Nauvoo, Illinois, the gathering place of the Church. At this time Lucas was about fifteen years of age and spent the next few years of his life in Nauvoo, helping to build the family home and the Nauvoo Temple. The family was greatly saddened by the death of their Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum in June 1844.
In 1846, with the body of the Saints, Abraham and his family were expelled from Nauvoo and traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa. In the spring of 1846, Lucas Hoagland, now age nineteen, enlisted as a member of the Mormon Battalion, where he served as a Private in Company D. After making it to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Lucas became ill and became a member of the Sick Detachment, which wintered at Pueblo, Colorado during the winter of 1846/47. In the spring the Sick Detachment went to on to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving there just a few days after Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company in July 1847.
On December 24, 1848, Lucas married Rachel Hale, who was born in Massachusetts in 1829, to Jonathan Hale and Olive Boynton, both of whom had died at Council Bluffs in 1846. Lucas and Rachel had one daughter they named Olive, born in December 1849 in Salt Lake. In October 1848, Lucas’ father and mother had traveled to the Salt Lake Valley, and Lucas was grateful to see them and that they had arrived safely.
In 1849 Lucas left his father and family and went to El Dorado County, California. Lucas went to El Dorado with other men from Salt Lake, including his brother Peter Hoagland and Israel West, as part of the Gold Mission during the California Gold Rush. In 1852, Lucas moved to San Bernardino and bought a forty-acre ranch southeast of town.
Lucas’s wife Rachel died in 1854 in San Bernardino, California. In 1862, Lucas married Harriet Wonfor (Spilsbury), who had one son from a previous marriage. Harriet was born 22 December 1835 in Cambridge, England, the daughter of William Wonfor and Rhoda Thurlbourn. After they were married, Lucas and Harriet decided to move back to the Salt Lake Valley for a few years. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, they had their first five children. In 1870, they decided to return to San Bernardino, where their last four children were born.
Lucas died on 29 July 1905 in Salt Lake City, at the age of 78, while visiting his sister. The day before he died, he was able to visit with Royt Hale, an old boyhood and Mormon Battalion friend. Lucas’ body was sent to San Bernardino, where his family had him buried in the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery. Harriet died in March 1907 and was buried in the same cemetery.